Bladder cancer is a disease of the urinary bladder where malignant (cancer) cells form in the tissues of the bladder. Bladder cancer is the ninth most common cancer in Singapore men. It is more common in men than women and occurs in older people.
The bladder is a balloon-shaped organ in the lower part of the abdomen. It has a muscular wall that can distend with urine until it is emptied.
Bladder cancer may present in a variety of ways, including :
Bladder cancer is closely associated with the following risk factors :
There are three subtypes of bladder cancer :
Bladder cancer can be diagnosed through the following clinical findings, laboratory and radiological tests :
Bladder cancer may be divided into :
The long-term outcome of bladder cancer depends on :
These cancers rarely spread and can usually be cured. Left untreated they may, in some cases, develop into muscle-invasive tumours.
These are usually treated in the following ways :
Muscle-invasive tumours have a high chance of spreading to other parts of the body and treatment is usually more aggressive.
Treatment options may include :
Sometimes a combination of treatment with chemotherapy with surgery or radiation is needed to improve the chances of cure in selected patients.
Treatment under clinical trial
Photodynamic therapy (PDT) is a cancer treatment in which a lightsensitive drug is administered to the bladder and laser light is used to activate the drug to kill the cancer cells.
What happens during surgery?
At the time of surgery, the entire bladder is removed. The ureters are disconnected from the bladder and joined to a loop of small intestines specially fashioned to contain urine.
Depending on the pre-operative medical condition, stage of disease, and ability to perform clean intermittent self-catheterisation, the loop of small intestine may be :
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